Runoff water from buildings, streets and sidewalks carries many pollutants including: sediment, nutrients, bacteria, oil, metals, chemicals, road salt, pet droppings and litter. Cars, refineries, power plants and other contaminant emitting sources send pollutants into the air that eventually settle in water. Some businesses and industries don't dispose of waste properly and dump pollutants directly into waterways. Also, when cities are built, the natural watershed is changed. Wetlands are often filled in with dirt and concrete and natural streams are redirected by man-made channels. This takes away nature's ability to filter out contaminants before they end up in larger bodies of water.
Contaminated runoff kills aquatic life. Metals and other toxins are absorbed in the flesh of fish and shellfish and are dangerous when eaten. Bacteria, parasites and chemical toxins contaminate recreation areas and drinking water, which cause major illness and sometimes death. Most streams, lakes and coastal waters surrounding large cities are too polluted for people to use. If development of cities continue without care and management of pollution and the natural watershed, most or all fish and aquatic life will be killed, entire ecosystems will be destroyed and it will be nearly impossible to find uncontaminated water that is safe to use or drink.
Keep roadways and walkways swept and clear of soil, grass and debris.
This project was originally jointly funded by a Federal Clean Water Act grant from the U.S. EPA
the Hawaii State Department of Health Clean Water Branch
and the City and County of Honolulu Department of Environmental Services.